Saturday, 2 July 2016

And so the world turns


Let's scroll back about ten days, just before this referendum thing.  It was clear that the result was going to be close, but we were at least sort-of-united, in that we didn't know the outcome.

We were travelling back on the Caledonian sleeper on the night the result was called.  Wi-fi wasn't working, so Mr Knitty couldn't access the BBC website on the laptop, and him clicking on the keys was keeping me awake.  I was able to log into Facebook a couple of times and got updates that way.  I had a dream that there was cheering from both cabins each side of me as the result was announced that we wanted to stay.  When I got out at Euston, the steward told me that it was an overwhelming vote to leave.

There was a four percent difference between the in vote and the out vote.  Four percent.  That's not overwhelming.  That's just about the right percentage to equally divide the country.  The leave side say that the democratic thing to do is now leave, as the people have spoken.  The stay side say that enough people are against leaving that the government (such as it is) should have either another referendum or a general election. 

There are reams and reams that could be written on this.  The fact that we shouldn't have had the referendum in the first place, the rumours that the out side wasn't supposed to win after all.  The fact that the government doesn't have an exit plan, because they never thought they'd need it.  There doesn't appear to be an effective opposition, as they're all in-fighting.  Reports of post-referendum racism have increased; in the last week I've had two friends post on Facebook with something they've experienced first hand, both in London.  Whilst not everybody who voted out is a racist, all racists now think they have half the country behind them. 

I'm trying to understand why people voted to leave.  So far, I've not really been able to.  The potential impact is huge.  Scotland wants to stay in the EU, so could possibly leave the UK; if that happens Ulster may well follow.  Unsurprisingly, there's a divide between London and the rest of the country; in broad terms, I suspect that this is a rich/poor divide, which has been encouraged by the Conservative party.  I also think the people who will come off worst are the people in un-skilled jobs or are from a certain social demographic.  There's the expectation that this is going to hit scientific research, the economy, the arts, education, the NHS, the rest of Europe.  The list seems infinite, as we're pretty much the guinea-pig of the EU and nobody quite knows what the consequences are.

I still have friends in Europe, who I don't love any less.  I'm done with being told to just accept the result, as that's democracy.  The process to leave hasn't been started yet, and until it is - there is everything to play for.  I think I'm done crying over it, but I'm not sure.  I've written to my MP.  I'm vaguely drafting letters to MEPs.  I've not ruled out writing to other European leaders.  I just wish the weather would get a grip and stop bloody raining; I'm sure it'll make a difference. 

In the meantime, I'm hiding with knitting, tea and Youtube videos. Oh and trying to get better at Swedish, just in case.  Youtube suggested that I watch Måns Zelmerlöw, as I've watched his videos before.  Most of his songs are about relationship and relationship break-ups, some of which have felt a bit close to the bone.  This one had particular resonance: 




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